planning a pcs – the paper trail

We just got back from a whirlwind 4-day weekend in Atlanta.
There was an over-abundance of my loud family.
It was lovely.

Let’s get back to the PCS; shall we?

Planning for a PCS is a lot of work.
Even more so if you are without your household goods for an extended period of time.
Ours was made more complicated by my pregnancy which forced an uber-fast timeline.
I started planning 2 months before we left Hawaii, {because that is all the time we had}  normally I would have started 6 months out.

We knew that we would be without our household goods for 6-8 weeks.
That’s a long time to be living out of suitcases.
Hence the intense OCD planning.

I started by doing tons of research on Ft. Rucker.
Everything from housing options, to school, to whether or not I’d have access to a Starbucks or a Costco.
{turns out i don’t have access to either unless you count the starbucks inside target…and i don’t count that}
Any valuable information I found I put into a 2″ notebook.
This notebook became my #1 resource for the entire PCS.
A long with research on Ft. Rucker and SE Alabama, I put in any Army related PCS tools, articles, and regulations.
This included all of the up-to-date info on Army regulations for shipping household goods and our vehicle.
Lastly, any important numbers we might need, in case of hurricane or lost luggage, were also in my magic little binder.

I use a binder from Office Max that was part of the In Place system by Peter Walsh.
{of course since i am blogging about it the system is discontinued}
In the binder I have sections for clearing post, the Army’s It’s Your Move article, moving tips from around the blogosphere, info on Ft. Rucker, and a section for reservations.
In a folder up front I have a copy of My Soldier’s PCS orders.
I also have a few pockets for pens and pencils, a nifty Post-It note insert, and a bunch of Avery PocketTabs.
My binder kind of becomes my mobile office and command center.

The binder has a super important partner in crime.
Enter the accordion folder.
This folder is often called “Our Life” because it holds all the super important documents that we hand-carry when traveling.
{seriously, if we ever lost this folder i would cry for days and be totally freaked out that our identities were being stolen}

The accordion folder holds pretty much everything you would normally keep in a safe.
Before we leave we make sure that there are scanned digital copies stored elsewhere.
I have sections for vital documents, powers of attorney, household goods, stamps, and medical records.
Included in the Vital Documents section are all of our birth certificates, copies of our drivers licenses, social security cards, high school diplomas, college degrees, marriage certificate, and a couple of other important documents.
Losing this section alone would give me a heart attack.
All of my powers of attorney are also in this folder.
All of the documentation relating to our household goods shipment including any photos of valuables are in the folder as well.
{I put stamps in there because I had an open section}
And lastly, all of the medical records for me and the Army Brats.

There are a million Army-related documents that My Soldier has to travel with.
He keeps them in his ‘I Love Myself” binder which includes his ENTIRE Army paper trail and awards.
All of these are also scanned and stored digitally.
I have no clue what Army paper work is of value so he keeps that binder up to date.

The other large part of planning is the packing.
I’ll get into the packing side of our PCS on Friday.

  2 comments for “planning a pcs – the paper trail

  1. 08.22.2012 at 15:38

    You should probably make an e-book of all this stuff.

  2. 08.23.2012 at 11:41

    sooo helpful!

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